State Department Hiring for Laterals (attorney applicants)

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State Department Hiring for Laterals (attorney applicants)

Post by LorneMalvo » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:47 am

I'm going to start at a firm with a large CFIUS and Sanctions practice. It's also a dream of mine to one day work at the State Department.

I know it's incredibly competitive, but what are the hiring/recruiting practices like for BigLaw attorneys with international trade/national security experience? I've seen by stalking LinkedIn that some attorney advisors joined after only a year of BigLaw, others joined with like 5 years + experience.

Do folks just apply every year? What is the work like after you get to State? It seems like new attorney advisors often first work in less glamorous posts like Visas/building acquisitions, etc. before rotating to the more desirable offices. Does this also hold for lateral attorneys that have specific experience in stuff like sanctions or are they hired directly into one of the offices like Economic and Business Affairs?

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Re: State Department Hiring for Laterals (attorney applicants)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:23 am

I can’t speak to lateral hiring for a firm, but was recently hired after clerking.

I would reach out to folks directly, ideally someone you have some sort of connection with (like school) and ask to do an informational interview. That was really helpful in my experience. The security clearance process takes a while, so I would apply in well in advance of when you want to leave the firm

As it was explained to me, new hires are assigned into sections like you mentioned (Consular affairs, international claims and investment disputes, management, employment) for their first rotation of 2-3 years. After that initial rotation, then employees are given the ability to rotate with preferences in mind.

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